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Hidden in plain sight: Poverty in LA

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County > Organizations struggle to assist low-income families

By Arin McKenna

Forbes ranked Los Alamos County the third wealthiest county in the United States this year. The county also has the highest number of millionaires, according to Phoenix Marketing International. Livability.com just named Los Alamos the best small town in the country.
So it is very hard for most people to believe that poverty exists in the county.
 “I think there is a perception that Los Alamos doesn’t have poverty. In areas of affluence, sometimes the issues of poverty become invisible. And it is true in Los Alamos that the great majority of people are doing rather well,” said Ellen Morris Bond, executive director for Self Help, Inc., a program dedicated to enhancing life skills and empowering individuals by providing programs and services that focus on developing self-reliance.
 “Whenever I do public talks, people are kind of shocked at my reports of what I deal with on the ground here, as an agency that deals with struggling people in Los Alamos almost every day. Every day I hear and see and meet with families that struggle to stay here.”
Statistics show that 3.9 percent of the county’s population lives in poverty, based on such things as the number of food stamp recipients. And the story does not stop there.


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